While ending world hunger won’t happen overnight, people everywhere are rising up in the fight against chronic hunger.
In 2004, two college students at the University of Texas, Talis Apud and Kristin Walter, decided to join the motion of ending world hunger. They set up their first FeelGood grilled cheese stand at the University of Texas. Within six months, they raised $10,000 for the end of hunger.
“It was the success of that first FeelGood deli that made them think this could be a national college movement,” Kern Beare, director of communications and recruitment for FeelGood, said. “And they were right.”
FeelGood is a nonprofit organization that sells grilled cheese sandwiches and donates profits to organizations that combat world hunger.
Twenty-four colleges and universities, more than 130,000 grilled cheese sandwiches and over $1.4 million later, FeelGood has teamed up with other non-profits and found great success.
Samantha Ethridge, recruitment and outreach chair, sees the FeelGood organization as a different kind of nonprofit organization. She believes that both the overall mindset and the ability to turn a simple act into global impact make FeelGood successful.
“FeelGood, and the organizations it invests in, don’t see poverty and hunger as problems that need to be solved,” Ethridge said. “They see them as opportunities for every individual, no matter their circumstance, to unleash their human spirit, to realize their potential as capable, creative, and talented human beings.”
FeelGood partners with a couple different non-profits. One of the organizations FeelGood invests in, CHOICE Humanitarian, is based out of Salt Lake City and has a vision to not just end world hunger but to educate people in ending poverty.
Rebekah Sosa, director of corporate impact for CHOICE Humanitarian, said FeelGood is playing a huge role in fighting hunger.
“FeelGood is mobilizing people across the country,” Sosa said.
She said too many organizations are giving poverty-stricken areas what they need to survive. This only enables communities and reinforces cycles of poverty to unsustainable organizations. Groups like CHOICE Humanitarian are physically educating people to become self-sustainable. Without the donations and efforts of FeelGood, it would be impossible.
Ethridge said everyone should take action.
“Once you hear statistics such as 25,000 perish everyday due to chronic hunger or every 5 seconds a child dies of chronic hunger, not because there isn’t enough food in the world, but because they lack a voice, you have to act,” she said. “You are immediately called to action because there’s no way to feel good about those statistics unless you are doing something to change them.”
Ethridge, Sosa and Beare all agree that students should get involved by starting a chapter. BYU has yet to open a FeelGood deli on campus. An expedition to Guatemala this summer is on the agenda for people who get involved.
For more information regarding opening a deli or helping out in other ways, visit www.feelgood.org/start/